If you know me very well at all, you know I am pretty much an open book. Ask me whatever and I will tell you, sometimes you don't even have to ask me, as a kid we had to have secrets between home life and school life, and I made myself a promise, never again. I really don't have many secrets, life is just too short. Josh and I actually laugh now about all the things I told him about my life on our first date, but hey he called for a second date a month later. (It was both of our worst dates ever, but that is a whole different story)
I say all of this to say, I have probably told you the story about us getting robbed, but to be frankly honest with you, it NEVER really bothered me, or even cried about it until I put up the tree this year. It is crazy how things hit you.
I did tell Josh I did not want the tree up in our house, so I had kind of noticed I was associating the tree with the robbery, but just ignored it. I guess the association is new though, because I loved the tree so much it actually made it in the small storage room, to be saved while we were in Australia, but I guess time changes feelings. This year while I was fluffing the tree I just had a over whelming feeling of emotion about how lucky I was to actually be fluffing the limbs again. I know....the worst part of tree trimming.
Three Christmas ago, Josh was already living in Australia, I was getting the house ready to list (the next day), leaving on a quick trip to Branson with my Mamma (the next day), and then heading to Australia (three days later) to see Josh. To say there was a lot on my plate that day is an understatement, I have to also add we were having major plumbing problems.
So, my day consisted of cleaning, charging everything for my trip, getting all the lights on timers (to be safe), taking the dogs to Mamma's house, giving my brother in law my jeep (so I would have it again when I landed), hiding all my jewelry, and packing.
After running around all day like a chicken with my head cut off I finally stopped and went to dinner with a friend (who's husband was a cop). She knew I was on overload and needed time to just re-charge with a friend.
When I drove in the driveway nothing about my house looked different, the back gate was closed, all lights were on the timers, and nothing looked odd. I was driving Josh's car, but for some odd reason didn't want to use his keys to unlock the door. I stood at the door for a bit looking for my keys before I went in.
After I finally got in the door I hung the keys up, and saw that my luggage was wide open, thinking, "Man, you over-stuffed another suitcase," I then walked in the bedroom, not noticing all of the drawers were open and things were hanging out of them, I saw another piece of luggage wide open, Still thinking, "man you have got to get better on your packing." I then walked into the bathroom, not noticing my brand new MacBook pro that was laying out to charge was missing, tried running the water in the bathtub to see if the plumbing was fixed, it wasn't,
I then walked into the den. To where I noticed the cedar chest coffee table wide open, (I KNOW IT TOOK ME LONG ENOUGH) I then screamed, "SH*T, someone is in my house." I pulled out my phone, called my Dad (who was 6 hours away), it was quicker than getting to the numbers to call 911. I then ran to my car, don't worry I locked the door back, and drove around the block.
After I was away from my house I hung up, and called 911. I then pulled back into the house with the police, the station was about four blocks away. When we pulled back into the driveway, the back door and back gate were wide open, yes you read that correctly. They were inside with me the entire time. Go back and read all the things I did, not knowing I was alone.
I went though everything with the cops, locked the door and went to a hotel. Didn't grab a toothbrush or anything. At this point it was around 1:00 in the morning and I clearly wasn't thinking right. They had stolen every charger in my house, so as I went in to Wal-Mart I called Josh, who mind you was in Australia.
I tried to really down play every thing and let him know I had everything under control. He was in a meeting and really couldn't process everything. After I told him, he said, "ok, well I am glad you are ok, I will call you later." I hung up the phone thinking, "Wow! that went very well." drove back to the hotel, and passed out from just pure exhaustion.
The night before all of this my niece and nephew had spent the night, of course there was a storm, and to say we didn't get much sleep was an understatement. I was just tired. I am one of those 8 hour a night kind of people. If I stay up past 9:00 it is a miracle. I knew I had already scheduled to meet a friend of mine for breakfast who had a gun and wouldn't mind walking back through my house with me, and I would deal with everything after I got a little sleep.
Well, Josh really hadn't taken it that well. While I was asleep he processed what I told him, and completely freaked out. He called everyone who might possibly know anything to see where I was and what was going on.
Little did he know the only people that knew was Dad and the cops. I woke up to SO many missed calls from everyone and texts asking where I was. I called everyone after getting in trouble a bit, I calmed them down, and they all headed to Conway.
I then went to breakfast with my running buddy Earl. I sat down, ordered my breakfast and casually asked him if he minded walking through my house with a gun after we finished. I mean in my mind, it was just stuff, and no one got hurt, why ruin our breakfast?
After breakfast we went to the house walked through it, of course they were gone, and it was safe. There was nothing left in it to steal. They had so much time in my house they even went though our clothes and only took the name brands. They got about $6,000+ worth of stuff.
The only thing they didn't steal was my jewelry which I had hidden earlier in the day. I had put it in the guest bedroom (where they were hiding when I was home) under the mattress. I gave my jewelry to Earl to keep safe while I was gone. Apologized to all my family, who would not be getting Christmas presents, since they stole all of them.
I then spent a long while making a list of everything in your house. (The best advice I can give is walk through your house, film everything, show id numbers, say the prices, show tags in clothes, the insurance claim part was a nightmare)
I know you are reading this and asking, why after three Christmas's are you bringing this up? My Mamma put our Christmas tree away while I was visiting Josh, and we never had a Christmas tree in Australia. This was the first time I had messed with the Christmas tree the robber had taken every package from under the it.
This was the first time I really processed what could have happen to me. How each day really is a new chance on life, and how lucky I am to be given that opportunity. How easy the robber could have made many different situations, and I would never....(yeah I can't even type that).
This Christmas to be honest it was so hard to put the tree up. It was a way to stand up to the robbers, tell them they didn't win, let them know I am not going to live in fear, but thankful.
I am so glad I put it up though. I am so glad it is in the business. It is a great showing of new beginnings. A new start in Florida. The new Glass Doctor adventure. Our new traditions. Most important second chances.
Have you ever done something that should have been fun or no brainer and been flooded with emotions?